I am so excited to share this article with you. After a year of planning, a dream of my father-in-law's came into being during this past Christmas season. He has had a bucket-list trip that he has wanted to give his kids for a long time and 2016 was the target year. So, off to Crested Butte, Colorado the entire gang went.
With ski clothes and base layers packed, we excitedly adventured to this fabulous destination. CB is absolutely gorgeous. We flew into Gunnison, CO and picked up an accessible shuttle bus to make the 45 minute trip up to the Lodge.
I found a fantastic company by the name of Grand Mesa Medical who rented me a power wheelchair comparable to mine at home. So my time on the mountain was rather independent...which I like very much.
*Pro Travel Tip - Never attempt to let an airline handle your expensive power chair. They will kill them! Always rent from a local source near your destination.
Now we get to the good stuff. How does someone who is in a wheelchair and cannot walk, ski? Each person is fitted with an apparatus that will work best for their situation.
Each skier is assigned an instructor that trained. I had the privilege of hanging out with Colleen Farrell as my instructor for the first two days. She has been with Adaptive Sports since it's inception and this was her 20th season as an instructor. She was very good at teaching me exactly what we were doing and how to do it to the best of my abilities.
After a few practice runs, she let me out on the tethers and called out turns and we were having a blast. Day two we even did a "Blue" run or two which was fun and exciting.
I also wanted to mention the volunteers that assisted because without them, the instructors really cannot do their jobs. Two of the three days, my volunteer was Steve Otero. The man was amazing. I want to give his military service a shout out and he is also credited with taking all the video footage you see above.
|Gabe Robins - left and Steve Otero - right|
I must say that you have got to give this a try as it was a thrilling adventure. If you cannot make it to Crested Butte, no worries. There are Adaptive Sports programs all over. If you go to Disabled Sports USA site and look under Chapters and pick your state, you can discover the nearest program to your home. It may not be skiing but whatever is popular for you to do near you is always a great thing.